By: Amber Harbin
According to CNN, "Two out of three Americans believe gay people commit suicide at least partly because of messages coming out of churches and other places of worship, a survey released Thursday found." I honestly agree with that. Why do I agree with that? Well, I have to go from my own experience.
I almost committed suicide as a teen and one of the reasons was I didn't think I was good enough for God. I hated myself, I did not approve of myself, and I thought something was wrong with me. Now other factors contributed to me wanting to commit suicide, but I am not going to get into those. Let's stick to what I mentioned.
When I was 15, my old best friend and I went to church together a few times. I remember sitting in the room where youths meet before the service. I had this shame hanging over my head. I was dating a girl and I felt like God was mad at me. I figured I'd ask one of the youth teachers there at the church that one question most of us ask, "Is it wrong to be attracted to the same sex?" Before the youth teacher could even speak, another girl butted in the conversation. Her words hit me hard and stayed with me a long time, even until recently. She crossed her arms, had a disgusted look on her face, and said with an attitude, "Gays are disgusting. That is just gross."
I felt more shame. I went home later on that day and I ended the relationship between the girl I loved. I still regret that decision. Even though I felt shame, I felt it in my heart to get baptized...because I wanted to get closer to God. Little did I know, God and I would have a rocky relationship for the next several years because I did not know his true character.
Who is God? What is his character like? Is he mad at me? Is he mad at you? Does he hate me? Does he hate you? We all have these questions in mind and we tend to think that God is hateful, hates us, and we are not good enough for him. I am glad I learned the truth about God...and how loving he is. If you do not believe God is love, I suggest you read Ephesians. I know the King James Version is hard to understand, so I recommend either getting a version you can understand [such as the Amplified Bible], or look up a simpler version online.
Ephesians 1:4-12 says:
- 4 Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.5 For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [[b]because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]—6 [So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.7 In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor,8 Which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence),9 Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in [c]Him,10 [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up andconsummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth.11 In Him we also were made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will,12 So that we who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!
So what is my point? My point is: God loves you. Learn his character. Ignore the haters. God doesn't see what humans see. He looks at the heart. Suicide is not the answer! Jesus didn't let the Pharisees destroy his identity, so do not let the religious do it to you!
Later on, I will address the issue about 'God hates _______". I will talk about who God is and what his character is like.
In the meantime, get your bible out if you wish...and look at Ephesians! :) God loves you.
With Love, Amber.